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Trump says a US warship destroyed an Iranian drone that flew dangerously close

Trump says a US warship destroyed an Iranian drone that flew dangerously close
DefenseDefense2 min read

USS Boxer

  • President Donald Trump announced that the US shot down and "destroyed" an Iranian drone near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday. The Pentagon confirmed the news to INSIDER.
  • The news comes amid high tensions between the US and Iran over US sanctions and Iran's nuclear program after the US pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
  • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.

The USS Boxer destroyed an Iranian drone that had come with "threatening" range as the amphibious assault ship sailed through the Strait of Hormuz, US officials said.

"The drone was immediately destroyed," President Donald Trump told reporters, in the first news of the encounter.

According to Bloomberg, the drone approached the USS Boxer and "was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew," Trump said.

"At approximately 10 a.m. local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz," Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman told INSIDER via email.

"A fixed wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew."

The Pentagon did not immediately say how the drone was destroyed, but CNN reported that the ship had used electronic jamming to down it. The Boxer is also armed with anti-air missiles, a 20mm Close-In Weapons System and carries AV-8B Harriers flown by US Marine aviators.

Iran shot down a US Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk in June, an Iranian move that Trump initially called "a mistake."

Trump's announcement on the drone's destruction comes amid a broader standoff between Washington and Tehran over Iran's nuclear program.

Read more: The UK is deploying another warship to the Persian Gulf as concern grows over a tanker that went missing near Iran

Iran in recent weeks broke from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the 2015 nuclear deal orchestrated by the Obama administration.

Trump pulled the US from the JCPOA in May 2018, and US-Iran relations have deteriorated ever since.

As the US has sent military assets to the Middle East over the past two months to counter Iranian threats, including more troops, Iran violated the JCPOA's limits on uranium stockpiling and enrichment.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has leveled new sanctions against Iran in an effort to squeeze it into capitulation with the aim of establishing a more stringent deal than the JCPOA.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Thursday signaled the Iranian government would potentially be willing to enter a new deal with the US if it agrees to permanently lift sanctions.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from INSIDER.